I have my moments. I have good moments, and bad moments. Then, there are those moments that even stupidity can't be to blame. This photo falls into that category -- let me explain...
I decided that since Lake Tahoe California had just had a couple storms roll through, and one forecasted Friday night and Sunday night that I would make a run up to the lake in the hopes of catching some nice skies at the tail end of one storm and the beginning of the next.
I check the weather forecast Friday afternoon, yeup, same. 100% chance of snow Friday night...then partly cloudy by 5am Saturday morning.
Half way up Hwy 50, chains are required. Oh boy, first time I'd ever chained up the MoHo...first time for everything, right?. There ARE men in yellow suits running around putting them on for people for THIRTY BUCKS...I said "forget that, I can do this...how hard can it be?".
20 minutes later, they are on...I'm PISSED, freezing and filthy. But on I go.
I arrive at the east side of Lake Tahoe about 11pm and crash. I'm too tired and irritable to scout. 5am, alarm goes off...I do my traditional peak out the window...
NO CLOUDS. Nothing. Flat freakin blue skies. WHERE ARE THOSE CLOUDS??
I grab my iPhone...weather forcast comes up...Clear blue skies ALL DAY...
So, I spend the day dinky around...scouting some places...then around noon some clouds start to appear...not much, but it's hope so I head back north from South Shore Lake Tahoe to Sand Harbor.
A nap ensues.
4pm, alarm goes off, it's time to peak again...CLOUDS! Oh wait, those aren't clouds...those are CONTRAILS.
Damn those weary travelers!
But, there are a ton of them...like, more than I've ever seen in the sky, in one location, at one time. It was like an LA freeway, in the sky. But, I proceeded to hike out to Sand Harbor and see what kind of compositions can be found. The water is amazingly calm and the reflections are near perfect. But, it's clear to me that while there will be a sunset, it will be a sunset of contrails. NOT photographicly exciting.
So here's where we loop back to the beginning of the story...I'm about to have a moment.
I searched around all the rocks, finding some very sweet light looking to the east...the setting sun is really warming up the shoreline and creating a fantastic reflection. I find this very cool textured rock jetting out into the water and decide that spot looks promising...but before I setup my tripod and disturb the mirror flat water, I put the camera to my face and, using the viewfinder, start looking for a strong composition. I wanted to be sure and include the tops of the trees in the reflection, and get that cool cloud coming in from the top left of the scene.
Here's where it gets ugly...
...with the camera to my face, I'm moving ever so slightly...left, right, no back left, wait up a little (I tip toe) and then back...wait no leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeft and in I go. Oh ya, you guessed it, I trip over a rock and there I go, splashing into the water.
No, the camera didn't go in, just my foot, leg and pride. Thank gawd no one was around to witness this blunder. Now I'm VERY cold, wet and flashbacks of putting those damn chains on the MoHo came rushing back.
"I have $30, can someone take this shot for me now?" I pondered.
So now I'm heavily invested in this shot...you bet I'm going to take it. So I stood there, composition located...camera on the tripod...patiently waiting for my stupidity ripples to subside.
They do, and I snap.
Just in time too, as this great light faded quickly and one of the most amazing contrail sunset I've ever seen exploded behind me (for what it's worth). It looked like a giant game of airplane tic-tac-toe in neon colors.